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We may forget at times but one thing is true - this world is a battlefield. Day by day, hour by hour, we face a spiritual war and an enemy who’s real. He wants nothing more than to bring defeat, for his main aim is to steal, kill, and destroy. The forces of darkness don't wait for us to be ready for their attack. They're ruthless, determined, and cunning. The devil could care less if we "feel" prepared, or prayed up for our day. In fact, he prefers we're not.
God has given us his Word and Spirit, powerful and true, so we'll have the wisdom and protection to stand against the enemy. As I read these verses this morning, the reality struck me again that Paul wrote them while in chains, in prison. But Truth says - this enemy we face, no matter how cruel and vicious his schemes, can never chain our spirits that have been set free by Christ. Paul was not silenced by the attacks from dark forces. Neither should we be.
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions, with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” Eph. 6:10-18
The Believer's Integrity - A soldier in Paul's day had a leather girdle or belt that he tightened about his waist to protect his loins and carry his weapons of warfare, such as a dagger or sword. The belt also held his tunic together so it wouldn't be snagged. In Christian armor, it is integrity that holds everything else together. If you do not have integrity in the big and small things of your life, you are going to lose the battle. Would people say that you are a woman or man of integrity? If not, then you cannot win the battle.
The Believer's Purity - The breastplate of a soldier was sometimes made of woven chain and used to cover the soldier's vital organs. For the Christian, the breastplate is righteousness.
The enemy wants to attack you not only with lies, but also with impurity. He wants you to read filthy magazines, watch immoral movies, and engage in all temptations of the flesh. The bottom line is that Satan wants to get into your heart and mind. He's looking for a crack in your armor. And don't be fooled. Satan knows where that crack is. Is your heart pure before God? If not, then you cannot win the battle.
The Believer's Tranquility - A Roman soldier's would have hobnails on the sole, very much like football cleats because when they were fighting they needed solid footing from which to move.
Unless you have a solid footing of peace, you can never make war. Sounds like a contradiction, doesn't it? When Satan comes against your tranquility, he throws out stones and briars of doubts and discouragement to cause you to stumble. Do you have peace right now? If not, then you cannot win the battle.
The Believer's Certainty - The Roman soldier's shield measured approximately two by four feet and was made of wood covered with leather. In that day, soldiers dipped arrows in oil, then lit them and shot them at the enemy. These shields were vital to protect the solider from getting burned.
Satan is going to fire flaming arrows of doubt at you. He wants to place subtle doubts in your mind about God and His Truth. He knows a spark can ignite a big fire. You will need to feed your faith and starve your doubts. Are there any seeds of doubt in your mind today? If there are, then you cannot win the battle.
The Believer's Sanity - A soldier used a helmet to protect his head because if his head was wounded, he wouldn't be able to think. Every believer needs to have the mind of Christ under the control of Almighty God.
When a person is saved, for the first time he has his right mind. A person withoof the Spirit ut the Lord Jesus Christ has a form of insanity. They do not operate with the mind that God made them to have. The most important thing for you to have at all times is an assurance of your salvation. Do you know that you are saved? If you aren't, then you cannot win the battle.
The Word of God - When we are tempted, the most effective weapon that God has given to us as believers is the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Jesus modeled this so beautifully during His temptation in the wilderness. When the devil tried temptation after temptation against Him, Jesus used the sword of the Spirit. Jesus spoke the Word of God to Satan. In Luke 4:1-13, Jesus responded, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord God only. Him only you shall serve.” and again brought the Scripture back into context, “It has been said, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’”
The sword of the Spirit works. Memorize Scripture and use the Word of God to defeat Satan's lies and attacks.
God has a plan for our lives. The enemy has a plan for us too. We just have to decide which voice we’re going to listen to, and who we're going to choose to follow each day. And chances are, if we don't make a determined choice to follow God, we may eventually fall into the evil one’s trap. God gives specific instructions in his Word, he gives us all we need to stand strong in this life. Yet all too often we race through busy, full days, ill-equipped, unprepared, or simply not aware of what we’re up against, or who the real enemy even is.
If you're a believer living like salt and light in this dark world, you won't go for long without encountering obstacles and attacks he'll hurl straight your direction. This battle is real, it’s intense.
Focusing here today, putting on His armor, staying alert, and praying, that God will equip believers everywhere to "stand strong."
We thank you that you hold the victory over sin and death in this world. We thank you that you came to set the captives free. We thank you for your redemptive work you’ve done in our lives. We thank you for freedom and the hope you bring.
We hold your Word of Truth as weapon against the enemy’s schemes, and proclaim he does not have authority over our lives for we’ve been set free. Give us wisdom and discernment to recognize his traps and to stand strong against his work. Fill us fresh with the power of your Holy Spirit.
Today we put on the full armor to guard our lives against attack. We put on the belt of truth to protect against lies and deception. We put on the breastplate of righteousness to protect our hearts from the temptations we battle. We put the gospel of peace on our feet, so we’re ready to take your light wherever you send us this day. We choose to walk in the peace and freedom of your Spirit and not be overcome with fear and anxious thoughts. We take up your shield of faith that will extinguish all the darts and threats hurled our way by the enemy. We believe in your power to protect us and choose to trust in you. We put on the helmet of salvation, which covers our minds and thoughts, reminding us we are children of the day, forgiven, set free, saved by the grace of Christ Jesus. We take up the sword of the Spirit, your very Word, the one offensive weapon given to us for battle, which has the power to demolish strongholds, alive, active, and sharper than any double-edged sword.
We ask that you’d remind us to pray, constantly, for all believers. We ask for your help to stay alert in a dark world. We ask for your help to be salt and light, that we’d be loving and gracious, yet unyielding to sin.
We ask for your help in remembering to put on your full armor every day, for you give us all that we need to stand firm in this world. Forgive us God for the times we’ve been unprepared, too busy to care, or trying to fight and wrestle in our own strength.
Thank you that we never fight alone, for you are constantly at work on our behalf, shielding, protecting, strengthening, exposing deeds of darkness, bringing to light what needs to be known, covering us from the cruel attacks we face even when we’re unaware.
We love you Lord, we need you today. In the Powerful Name of Jesus, Amen."
Remembering this day that the battle we face may be more about what is unseen than what we see before us. And when we resist the enemy, God's word tells us he has to flee. James 4:7
You're never alone.
He loves you.
He fights for you.
“Do not be afraid of them; the LORD your God himself will fight for you.” Deut. 3:22
Debbie McDaniel is a writer, pastor's wife, mom to three amazing kids (and a lot of pets). Join her each morning on Fresh Day Ahead's facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/DebbieWebbMcDaniel, for daily encouragement in living strong, free, hope-filled lives.
Find her also at http://twitter.com/debbmcdaniel and http://www.debbiemcdaniel.com.
Descriptions of the armor adapted from The Armor of Christian Warfare by Pastor Adrian Rogres
This article is part of our larger resource library of terms important to the Christian faith. From heaven and hell to baptism and communion, we want to provide easy to read and understand articles that answer your questions about theological words and their meaning.
Heaven - What is it Like, Where is it?
Hell - 10 Things You Should Know
Baptism - What Does it Mean and Why is it Important?
Communion - 10 Important Things to Remember
The Trinity - Father, Son, Holy Spirit Explained
Predestination - Biblical Support and Facts
Armor of God - What is it and How to Use it